Hastings police officer Rene Doffing found not guilty of theftHastings police officer Rene Doffing was found not guilty of two counts of theft this morning by a Dakota County jury.
By: Chad Richardson, The Hastings Star-Gazette
Hastings police officer Rene Doffing was found not guilty of two counts of theft this morning by a Dakota County jury.
The jurors deciding the case announced just before 11 a.m. they had reached the verdict. The decision was read in court at about 11:15 a.m.
"We are elated with the verdict," said Doffing's attorney, Paul Engh. "We're quite pleased officer Doffing can get back to his full duties as a patrol officer."
Doffing was accused of stealing a corkscrew from a Hastings restaurant on Nov. 22, 2010. He was charged with two counts of theft and jurors began deliberations at 9 a.m. Thursday morning, after about a day and a half of testimony.
It is expected that Doffing will be behind the wheel of a patrol car in a matter of days. He had been on paid administrative assignment while the matter worked its way through the judicial system.
Doffing got emotional when the verdict was read. He appeared to be fighting back tears as he turned to leave the courtroom.
Engh maintained through the trial that the corkscrew Doffing took from the restaurant was of no value.
"I thought the case was insipidly trivial," Engh said. "It was meaningless. There was no victim. There was nothing of value at stake."
Engh and Doffing then left and were headed down a hall at the courthouse when Engh looked at Doffing and said, "We're outta here," and the two shook hands.